Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 24, 2012 17:08 ET

Minister Mackay Delivers the Keynote Address at the Permanent Joint Board on Defence

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 24, 2012) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, will today deliver a keynote address in Ottawa to members of the Permanent Joint Board on Defence (PJBD), the highest-level bilateral defence and security forum between the United States and Canada.

Addressing an audience of prominent senior military officers, government officials and diplomats, Minister MacKay will speak about the importance of the PJBD forum for Canada's defence relations with the United States. This unique forum, created in 1940, has examined virtually every important joint defence measure undertaken since the end of the Second World War. Today, it continues to serve as a strategic-level consultative body on matters affecting the defence and security of the northern half of the Western Hemisphere.

"The United States is Canada's most important ally and defence partner, and strategic discussion entrench our defence relationship at a critical time," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "These bilateral meetings have served as a key discussion forum on Canada-U.S. defence relations for more than seven decades."

The agenda for the 228th PJBD meeting on January 25 includes topics such as continental defence and security cooperation, Canadian and U.S. engagement in the Western Hemisphere, and defence cooperation in the Arctic.

"The discussions at the meeting, and the endorsement of military-to-military plans, build on the longstanding, well-entrenched and highly successful defence and security relationship between our two countries," said Minister MacKay. "Our strong defence relationship provides our two nations with greater security by addressing threats to our collective safety, security and defence, and ultimately to our economic well-being."

The documents to be signed on the margins of the meeting include the Civil Assistance Plan (CAP), the Combined Defence Plan (CDP) and an Information Sharing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The CAP, which was first signed on February 14, 2008, is to be renewed for two years. The CDP establishes a planning framework between Canada Command, its counterpart U.S. Northern Command, and NORAD for enhanced defence cooperation between Canada and the U.S. should governments require each other's assistance. These arrangements are not unlike Requests for Assistance in response to natural disasters or in the event of a defence emergency.

The Information Sharing MOU updates and formalizes existing arrangements between Canada Command, U.S. Northern Command and NORAD, to identify and provide for ease of sharing information amongst the three organizations.

The PJBD has been in existence for over 70 years and is the highest-level bilateral defence forum between Canada and the U.S. The Canadian and U.S. PJBD co-chairs act in an advisory capacity, reporting directly to the Prime Minister and President, respectively, on matters affecting the defence of the northern half of the Western Hemisphere. The Board meets semi-annually, with hosting duties rotating between the two countries.

Note to the editors:

Photos of Minister MacKay will be made available, following his keynote address (after 10 p.m. EST), on the DND/CF website at the following address: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/home-accueil-eng.asp

For additional information on Canada-United States Military-to-Military relationship, please consult the following backgrounder: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/news-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=4073

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